IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Sarkozy demands Russia comply with cease fire

/ Source: The Associated Press

French President Nicolas Sarkozy warned Russia's president Sunday of "serious consequences" in Moscow's relations with the European Union, if Russia does not comply with its cease-fire accord with Georgia.

In a telephone call, Sarkozy told Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that there must be a "withdrawal, without delay, of all the Russian military forces that entered Georgia since Aug. 7," Sarkozy's office said in a statement.

Medvedev promised the troop pullout would start Monday around midday, the statement said.

Sarkozy, whose country holds the presidency of the 27-nation EU, helped broker the cease-fire agreement.

He warned Medvedev that "failure to rapidly and completely implement the accord would have serious consequences on relations between Russia and the European Union," the statement said.

Possible measures against Russia?
Officials at the Elysee Palace declined to elaborate on possible EU measures against Russia.

Later, Sarkozy said in an opinion article published on Le Figaro newspaper's Web site that if Russia did not "rapidly and totally" follow the pullout specified in the cease-fire, he would "have to call an extraordinary meeting of the Council of the European Union to decide what consequences to draw."

"This pullout must be carried out without delay," he wrote. "In my mind, this point is not negotiable."

Sarkozy also said the international community would have to help find a longer-term solution.

"We will also have to determine if Russia's intervention against its Georgian neighbor was a brutal and excessive response," he said.

Western pressure has been increasing on Moscow to withdraw its forces under the cease-fire deal over South Ossetia, one of Georgia's two separatist provinces.

The U.S. and France have accused Russia of defying the truce, as Russian tanks and troops continued to roam freely across a wide swath of Georgian territory.